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A/N: Chapter Three! Just a little warning that there is some quite sexual things if you haven't gathered by the title but I wouldn't have rated it as Mature if they wasn't any of that stuff. So another long chapter and you get a insight into Elle and her Dad's relationship, it's a bit sad to watch really :( Poor Elle and all will be revealed soon. Not really but you'll have to be patient ;)







Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Unfortunately. It belongs to J.K. Rowling in all its magical glory. I also do not own charity shops... obviously.









beautiful chapter image by the lovely clowder@TDA!


“Given that we are pretending and I don’t need to keep up pretences whilst we’re alone, I’ll wear what I like to bed and you better keep your mouth shut about it or I will knee you in the groin.” - Elle Underwood








I rolled over the next morning, after struggling to find some peaceful sleep, to see the ring box on the side-table.


“Ugh! Why?” I moaned into my pillow, squeezing my eyes shut as I remembered what had happened yesterday.


“What the hell is this?!” Charity came barging into my room, chucking a bunch of magazines on my bed which made me jump.

 
“Charity, go away! I’m tired!” I hissed, rolling away from her but there was only so far I could roll without falling off my single bed.


“I’m not leaving until you explain now.” She crossed her arms and sat on my feet heavily.


“OW!” I moaned, figuring that I should sit up and see what she was on about. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I picked up the magazines and saw myself and James on the front cover of each one. One picture was of us in the café, then another in the park where he spun me round and the last magazine was us two walking into the ring shop. Each had different headings like ‘James Potter’s New Love Interest?’ or ‘James Potter’s Secret Girlfriend?’ and, last but not least, ‘James Potter’s Getting Settled Down… But With Who?’ and I had to laugh, “They move fast, don’t they?”


“This isn’t funny Elle! What the hell is going on?” she was angry and hurt. And I instantly felt guilty.


“Sorry… I just didn’t have time to explain after last night!” I mumbled, opening the pages to where there was a massive column about me, basically implying that I was only after James because of his money. Which, technically, I was.


“Explain what?! That you’ve been secretly dating James freakin’ Potter behind my back for two years and are getting engaged to him?! And I have to found out by stupid, gossipy magazines!” she shouted and I winced.


“Pretty much.” I said quietly, brushing the magazines onto the floor and lying back down.


“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked, her voice dropping to a whisper but she was still angry.


“Because he told me to keep it quiet…” I went with the story that James had told Molly, “He didn’t want anyone to find out about us because he wanted to make sure that he really liked me.” I shrugged, avoiding eye contact with her. She didn’t speak for a while but got up and left me in my room in the silence. God, she was mad… very mad. Stupid James! First Molly’s annoyed at me now my own sister! I pulled my duvet further over my head, wanting to stay here forever and not have to see anybody.


“Yeah, she’s upstairs. First door on the left.” I heard my sister direct somebody and I prayed to Merlin that it was not James. Please don’t be James, please don’t be James.


“Hey, Elle!” a cheery voice greeted me and my head peered out from the duvet to see Lily Potter stood with her arms swinging by her side.


“Lily? What are you doing here?” I quickly sat up and presented myself, scooping the ring box under the covers so I could sneakily slip the ring on my finger whilst she looked around my room, “I mean… hey, how are you?” I corrected myself when she raised an eyebrow at me.


“I’m good! Mum and Dad want you to come over to ours today for breakfast… so get dressed and we’ll go!” she smiled widely at me and I felt rather nervous again.


“Is James there already?” I asked just to make sure.


“Yeah, he is… he lives there.” She looked at me suspiciously and my heart froze. Bloody buggering shit!


“I know, I meant, is he already awake and stuff?” I covered up quickly whilst I pulled one of my summery dresses over my head and manoeuvred my pyjamas off underneath.


“Oh! Yeah, he is. He said he couldn’t be bothered to come and pick you up though so I volunteered.” She smiled again, flinging a piece of red hair over her shoulder.


“Typical James,” I rolled my eyes, pretending to know what he was like, pulling on my boots from yesterday on and following her down the stairs, “Thanks anyway for picking me up.”


“No problem, wanted to have a little bit of alone time with my sister-in-law,” She nudged my shoulder, “We’ll have plenty of that later on but I thought I’d get started now.”


“What do you mean later on?” I asked curiously. She grabbed my arm once we were outside and apparated to just outside the gates to James’ parent’s house. No, his parent’s mansion. This place was massive!


“We’re going shopping… for holiday stuff, of course!” she looked at me weirdly.


“What do you mean ‘holiday stuff’?” I questioned, now I was definitely confused. What holiday? We were going on holiday? Since when?


“Every year during the summer we go to the South of Spain for a month. Didn’t James tell you that?” she blushed and looked really guilty at having given something away.


“No. No he didn’t.” I clenched my jaw angrily as Lily headed in, announcing our presence.


“Hey love, how’re you?” James greeted, grabbing my left hand and quickly glancing to make sure I remembered the ring.


“Fine…” I said through clenched teeth, receiving the kiss on my lips, “And when were you going to tell me about this holiday, James?” I crossed my arms and narrowed my eyes. He gulped and stared at his Dad, who was trying to contain his laughter.


“James! You didn’t tell Elle about our holiday trip tomorrow?!” Ginny asked in shock.


“Well, it just never really came up.” He blushed, scratching his neck and almost going to stand behind me for protection.


“At least you know now.” Albus laughed loudly resulting in him being put in a headlock by James.


“Do you always have to use violence to solve problems?” I rolled my eyes and James let go of Albus.


“Not always, it’s only reserved for my family and people who piss me off.” He answered cheekily.


“What do you say, Elle? Do you want to come with us?” Ginny asked, motioning for me to sit down at the table with everyone else.


“Of course she’ll come!” James answered for me loudly.


“Well, I can’t decline now, can I?” I laughed at James whilst swiftly kicking him in the shins for answering for me, “How much is it, by the way?” I asked, silently praying that it would be more than I could afford so I’d have a reason for declining. My normal reason, which was work, was swept from under me because Michelle had decided I worked too much. It’s not such a bad thing, is it? I mean, if it gets you customers then you shouldn’t complain!


“Don’t be silly, sweetheart! You don’t have to pay, we’ve got everything covered.” Ginny smiled at me kindly and I almost wanted to punch James in the face for having such a rich family.


“Oh no, I couldn’t impose.” I blushed, shaking my head a little nervously. Please say no, please say no, please say no.


“You aren’t imposing at all! I’m sure James will be more than happy to have you there.” She replied, looking at James who decided to wear his stupid smug smirk. That thing should be illegal first thing in the morning.


“I’d be absolutely delighted if you’d come, please?” he pouted, giving me puppy dog eyes.


“Okay… if it’s not too much trouble,” I acquiesced him but I made a mental note to beat the shit out of him when we were alone. My phone buzzed in my pocket as we all started eating, “Sorry, it’s my Dad.”


“It’s fine, I bet he wants to know what’s happening after the stuff in the magazines this morning.” Ginny smiled as I stood up and left the room.


“Elle? Is this really true?” he didn’t even wait for me to greet him before he spoke, his gruff voice permeating the quiet air, “You’re getting engaged to some guy you’ve been secretly dating for two years?! And he didn’t have the decency to ask me for permission?!”


“Dad, calm down… I’ll explain everything later okay, just don’t be mad at me.” I whispered.


“Why are you whispering? Are you with him now? I have a right mind to come over there and sort his head out! I don’t care if he’s the son of the Saviour of the whole fucking world!” he swore loudly and I had to pull the phone away from my ear, wincing.


“Dad, I’m at his parents’ house having breakfast! I’ll explain later, okay? Just don’t get yourself into a state!” I begged him. The door clicked closed behind me and I looked up to see James walking towards me anxiously.


“No. I’m coming over there right now!” he shouted before hanging up on me.


“What is it?” James asked, taking in my scared expression and the fact my phone was still held to my ear.


“My Dad,” I gulped, “He’s coming over… he, urm, wants to ‘sort your head out’ as he put it.” I chuckled nervously.


“It’s okay, we’ll just explain.” James looked just as scared as me.


“You don’t understand… he’s heard this from my sister probably. She’s pissed off at me too and she’s possibly over-exaggerated bits to make it seem bad.” I looked down with a solemn expression. James was quite for a while before he pulled me into an unexpected hug.


“Sorry,” he whispered, “I didn’t realise how people you knew would react… at least, I didn’t think it would be this bad.” He laughed to try and lighten my mood.


“We can’t back out of this now.” I shrugged dejectedly and followed James back into the dining room where I told Ginny and Harry what was happening.


“That’s absolutely fine.” Harry reassured me.


“I would be a little annoyed too if it was Lily but he’ll understand when you explain.” Ginny tried to reassure me too but I started biting my nails nervously, James grabbed my other hand and tried to calm me down but that didn’t help either. We carried on eating for a few minutes in tense silence, when there was a knocking on the door.


“I think I’d better get the door.” Harry looked sternly at James as he went to stand up.


“Probably a good idea.” James muttered, sitting back down. A few seconds later and my Dad followed Harry into the room with a surly-looking scowl on his face. Harry told Lily and Albus to leave the room but I knew that they were listening just outside the door.


“Hey Dad.” I couldn’t look at him.


“So… imagine my surprise when Charity comes to mine not long after you leave to tell me that you are suddenly engaged!” He didn’t waste any time.


“Just let me explain Dad,” I looked at him finally, he sat down opposite me with such a sarcastic innocent face that I nearly cried, “James and I have been secretly dating for two years now.” I lied straight through my teeth.


“And I told Elle not to say anything to anyone because I wanted to make sure that I genuinely liked her before telling everyone. Including the public.” James continued seriously, his arm around my shoulder as he sat next to me.


“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you Dad…” I muttered, looking down at the table. I felt so bad because we'd only started talking again properly so this would just complicate things if he ever found out we were lying.


“So you are engaged?” he asked, ignoring my apology and looking down at my engagement ring that was blatantly visible.


“Yeah, we are. He proposed last night.” I smiled slightly, hoping Dad would take it as a happy smile and not be mad at me. He sighed, scratching his stubble roughly and finally softened up. Just a little though.


“You’re happy…?” his voice went up slightly in question but I knew he was forcing it because he looked like he couldn't care less.


“I am.” I smiled as James squeezed my hand on the table.


“I hope you two are happy together then.” He stood up and hugged me awkwardly. Another person we had fooled.


“Thanks.” I kissed his cheek, “Could you speak to Charity for me? She’s still annoyed at me.” I whispered and he nodded his head, giving his apologies to Ginny and Harry about this whole situation and leaving.


“That was eventful,” James huffed teasingly, sitting himself down on the couch but I was angry, “Elle…?” he called after me as I stormed into the massive garden, walking behind a hedge and finding a secluded bench.


“James feels bad, you know.” Lily’s head appeared round the hedge then her body after a few minutes of me stewing in silence.


“I know he does,” I sighed, my anger disappearing, “It’s just, I don’t think he understands that my family’s different to his and you’ve all welcomed me straight away whereas my family…” I trailed off, not wanting to mention how messed up it was, “They’re very traditional, in the sense that, the boys needs to meet the family first before you get engaged and stuff.” I lied.


“I understand,” Lily agreed, “James just doesn’t think things through sometimes.” She laughed with me.


“I agreed for it to be secret for so long because I know the strain the magazines put on his last relationship so… I understood why he was so… withdrawn. I just didn’t realise how much drama there would be when we finally announced it publicly.” I sighed again. Lily just nodded her head as I continued to ramble and when I’d finally finished she turned to me,


“Finished?” I nodded, “Because we have some holiday shopping to do!” she squealed and I laughed, letting her drag me back into the house. James was still sat in his seat with a guilty expression on his face when we walked back inside. He opened his mouth but I cut across him.


“It’s okay James. I know,” I smiled slightly, “At least they all know now.” I shrugged as he stood up, kissing me on the lips and hugging me.


“You are actually brilliant, did you know that?” I knew he was being nice so I just shrugged my shoulders and blushed.


“Anyway, if you’re all done with your cutesy couple stuff… we need to go shopping!” Lily announced as she pulled me towards the front door. Everyone said their goodbyes as we apparated into an alleyway in muggle London.


“Why aren’t we in Diagon Alley? I haven’t got any muggle money on me.” I panicked.


“I’ll pay for the stuff for you, don’t worry,” I opened my mouth to protest, “And don’t argue with me,” she looked at me sternly and my mouth shut. Lily was quite scary if she wanted to be, “We’ll start here!” she dragged me into a huge department store where there were thousands upon thousands of bikinis lining a wall to our far right and it looked like that was where we were going first.


“Lily… I’m not really comfortable wearing bikinis if I’m honest.” I gulped, thinking back to the massive scar down my spine.


“Nonsense, you have a smoking body and you’ll look irresistible. James won’t be able to keep his eyes off you,” she smirked as I blushed, “Now, what size are you? You’ll probably need about 6 different ones.” She mumbled to herself.


“36C and size 10.” I answered quietly, I didn’t like discussing my boob sizes in front of people I didn’t know. It was awkward enough that I had to tell Lily, who I’ve known for practically one and a half days. She then took in my complexion and hair colour and picked six different bikinis off the wall. I ended up with a deep red one that had tassels on the top half and was a halter neck, a blue one that had a few diamantes on it, another blue one but it was a lighter colour and it had ‘Babe’ in glitter along the back of the bottoms, a forest green one, a light pink one and a black one, which was the skimpiest one out of all of them.


“Okay… clothes now. You probably don’t need that many to begin with because you can just wash them and stuff and buy more out there so…” she rattled through the rails and chucked a few plain tank tops in the basket I was holding, two pairs of shorts (black and khaki coloured), a loose fitting shirt with a plunging neckline, another shirt that had slits down the sides and a maxi skirt.


“Are you sure I’m going to need all this?” I asked and was shushed by a murderous glare.


“Dresses? Dresses…” she muttered, searching round the store as her head was stretched like a giraffe, “They don’t have any good dresses. Let’s go pay and see if we can find another shop.” She pulled me towards the cashier.


“Aren’t you getting anything?” I asked as the cashier started putting the clothes in our bag after scanning them.


“Nope, I’ve got everything I need.” She smiled.


“That comes to £185.99, please.” And my mouth dropped open.


“Here you go.” Lily casually handed over two, one hundred pound notes. He gave her the change back and we walked out, me carrying the two big bags.


“Can we have a look in a charity shop at some point?” I asked quietly, I really didn’t like the fact she had already spent nearly two-hundred pounds on me.


“If you want,” she said distractedly, “Look at these dresses, aren’t they amazing?” she gushed, looking in the window at a dark green cocktail gown, “That would look amazing on you! Especially if we’re going out for a fancy meal!” she dragged me in as I was still getting over the cost of said dress. It was nearly two-thousand pounds?!


“Oh no! Lily, that’s waaay too much! You don’t need to get me that dress!” I moaned as she found an assistant’s clerk to get the dress for me to try on.


“Don’t protest! I’m buying it!” she glared at me and, once again, my mouth was clamped shut. She shoved it at me and pushed me towards a dressing room. It was really cramped as I pulled off my jeans, cardigan and shirt and then pulled the skin-tight dress over my head. It had long sleeves, reached right up to my neck and dipped down my back, which I really wasn’t happy about.


“Can I see it?” Lily asked from outside. I was still studying the light scarred line down my back.


“Erm… okay?” I replied unsurely as the clerk pulled back my curtain.


“Oh… my… God!” Lily’s mouth dropped open much like my mouth was earlier, “You look… absolutely stunning!” she beamed at me, her hands clapped happily in front of her face. The woman shut the curtains again and I was happy to finally be out of the dress and back into my normal clothes.


“Lily, are you sure? I don’t want you spending all your money on me.” I mumbled as she took the dress off me and made her way to the desk.


“Haven’t we already discussed this? I already have enough money than I know what to do with.” She rolled her eyes.


“Exactly. I’ve grown up never having enough money and to suddenly have someone willing to spend loads of money on me… it’s uncomfortable for me, sorry.” I bristled nervously and she looked at me in understanding.


“Okay, we’ll buy this dress and we can go into a charity shop.” She smiled kindly at me and I blew out a sigh of relief.


“There’s this great one that I always shop in, it has loads of stuff in it.” I smiled happily, my mood lifting. She paid, disregarding the woman’s disdainful looks at me when we left and I pulled her to my favourite charity shop. Lily managed to scrounge three really pretty dresses that she actually approved of and we left. Me feeling a little better about this whole thing.


“Right… we need to find some shoes for this dress and then maybe about three pairs of sandals for you to wear. And then I have a surprise. Sorry but we’re going to have to spend a bit more of my money.” Lily looked at me sheepishly but this time I didn’t argue because there was nothing I could do about it now. She led me into yet another department store that had a whole floor just for shoes. This one didn’t take as long because I picked out the cheapest sandals for me to have then we moved onto the heels. Lily was determined for me to have a pair of studded silver stilettos but I ended up going with a plain pair of black wedges.


“Are we finished?” I asked, panting under the weight of my five heavy shopping bags.


“Nope, I have one last surprise,” She smirked at me, “But just keep an open mind.” She warned me and I became incredibly nervous and worried. We carried on walking down a busy street until I was suddenly dragged into a shop that was plastered with reds, purples and pinks all over the walls and floors. In front of me on shelves were an assortment of sex toys and I immediately blushed.


“Lily…?” I trailed off, wanting to back out of the shop instantly.


“Calm down, Elle… we’re not getting any of that stuff. Come with me.” She pulled to the back of the shop where there was sexy underwear on rails in all different colours, mostly black and red though. My blush was getting deeper as I looked at how skimpy and see-through some of them were.


“Oh my God! I can’t believe this….” I blushed even further.


“Just keep an open mind about this Elle! If it helps, I’ll just pick the stuff out… James’ll like it.” She smirked and I wondered why I even bothered to come shopping with her in the first place. James was never gonna let me live this down. Ever. She then held up a red and black strapless Basque in full view of everyone in the shop.


“Lily! Put it down!” I hissed embarrassed.


“Just relax! I’ll pick all your stuff out.” She smirked, enjoying my flustered expression.

 

She then proceed to throw the Basque, silky nighties, camisoles that had suspenders on them and other sexy lingerie that would make a nun blush into a small basket that she was carrying as my hands were full.


“This is worse than when we looked for an engagement ring and the guy serving us thought we were about to have newly engaged sex when we left.” I moaned, covering my permanently red face.


“But did you?” she looked at me with a knowing expression exactly similar to the guy.


“That’s… j-just… I…” I stammered in shock and she laughed loudly, leading me to the desk to pay. When the stuff was put into the bag, I quickly stuffed it into one of the bigger bags so no-one would see.


“Calm down, Elle… it’s completely normal for newly engaged couples. I wouldn’t be surprised if James jumped you as soon as you showed him what you bought.” She laughed whilst I moaned in embarrassment again.


“Lily, it’s not funny… it’s embarrassing!” as she grabbed my hand and apparated once we got to an alleyway.


“I can’t wait to see James’ face!” she said with glee whilst I was silently hoping that Voldemort would come back just to kill me right now, “What time is it anyway?” she asked, thankfully changing the subject.


“Erm…” I looked down at my watch in shock, we’d spent nearly four hours shopping and it was nearly dinner, “It’s half four.” I said and Lily’s face mirrored my shock.


“Gosh! I didn’t realise we’d been gone that long!” she rushed into the house as I followed inside, keeping hold of the bags because I really didn’t want anyone to see inside one particular one.


“Have fun shopping?” Ginny asked when we walked into the living room. I glanced at Lily, who was smirking at me and I blushed again.


“Yeah, it was fun.” I held up the bags.


“By the way, I forgot to tell you that you’ll have to sleep here tonight so we’ll all be ready to go by tomorrow. If that’s alright?” Ginny asked.


“Sure, would it be alright if I have dinner at my sister’s tonight… just so I can explain that I won’t be around for a month.” I laughed nervously.


“That’s perfectly alright. I’ll show you to James’ room so you put your bags down.” She stood up as Lily waltzed off somewhere, I don’t know where, and we started walking up the stairs. We passed a room that had loud Pop music blaring from speakers from behind the door.


“That’s Lily’s room… you get used to the loud music.” She then pointed out Albus’ room and then hers and Harry’s room before coming to a stand-still outside the room at the end of the long hallway, “This one’s James’.” She opened the door and I was expecting James to be sat in here doing whatever but he wasn’t.


“Where is he?” I asked, putting my bags on his bed, hoping he wouldn’t care.


“He’s gone over to Fred’s but he said he’ll be back by dinner time.” She smiled.


“Would you be able to tell James that I’m at my sister’s house for dinner?” I asked nicely, sitting down on his bed whilst Ginny watched me carefully.


“Yeah sure.”


“Thanks, Mrs Potter.” I said quietly.


“Call me Ginny sweetheart, makes me feel old when you call me Mrs Potter.” She laughed heartily and I joined in a little.


“Okay… thank you, Ginny.” I smiled, my face a little pink. She left me alone in the silence as I spotted two suitcases in the corner and started packing my stuff, once I’d ripped the labels off of course, into the pink one. Once I’d packed everything, there was only one bag left. Oh God… why? Why did you do this to me Lily? Granted she didn’t know we were faking but that’s so embarrassing for me! I pulled out each one fast, ripped off the tags like I was ripping off a plaster and hid them all underneath my clothes. There was no way I would be wearing any of them during this holiday and I will make sure of that. I looked down at my watch to see it was five o’clock and I walked down the stairs and into, what I assumed was the kitchen, to see Ginny cooking something for dinner.


“Are you off now?” she asked, her wand tucked behind her ear as she threw some tomatoes into the pan.


“Yeah, what time should I come back?” I asked, stood in the doorway really awkwardly.


“I’ll tell James to pick you up at 8?” she looked at me hopefully.


“That’s okay with me,” I smiled, “See you at 8.” I said and left the house, apparating to my sister’s house, “Am I still allowed in?” I called as I opened the door, all the anger directed at my sister coming back in full-force.


“Of course you are, why wouldn’t you be?” Darrell asked, coming out the living room holding Gabby with a questioning glance.


“Ask Charity,” I glared at her as she came out the kitchen, “What the hell did you tell Dad?! I don’t need him hating me more than he already does!” I shouted. Darrell sensed there was something wrong and so walked back into the living room with the kids, shutting the door firmly behind him.


“He doesn’t hate you.” she said quietly, walking back into the kitchen and I followed her.


“Of course he does,” I stated, still glaring at the back of her head whilst she chopped some food up. We stayed in silence as she continued to make dinner, “Goddamn it, Charity! Tell me what you told him!”


“Alright! I’m sorry Elle! I didn’t know he’d flip out, okay?” she snapped, turning viciously round at me with a massive meat knife in her hand.


“Watch where you point that thing!” I shouted, “What exactly did you tell him Charity?” I hissed, bringing my voice down.


“I just went round to his and showed him the magazines that I showed you… they didn’t exactly paint you in a good light either.” She mumbled. It seemed she was sulking because she’d been wrong in her assumptions and Dad had let her know that, thankfully. I wasn't sure whether he'd actually talk to Charity but it seemed like he did.


“So you basically told him I was going out with James because I was a gold-digging whore?” I crossed my arms, leaning against the stove counter.


“No! Of course I didn’t! That’s what the magazines said, I just told him that I was a bit upset you didn’t tell me!” she protested.


“I explained this morning why I didn’t tell you.”


“But it just seemed like such a bullshit explanation…” she trailed off and I could tell there was a ‘but’ coming somewhere.


“But…?”


“But I read the magazines that had James’ previous relationship in it and you’re explanation made sense,” she huffed and I smiled. She seemed a bit surprised when I suddenly hugged around her waist but she reciprocated, “I’m sorry to have a go at you and if you’re happy then I’m happy too.” She smiled, kissing the top of my head.


“Thanks. I love you.” I whispered.


“Love you too. Now budge your arse, I need to finish making tea.” She laughed as I watched her. We all sat down to eat and the normal chatter made me believe that this whole thing with James wasn’t real and I had been imagining it in some twisted dream-land. When dinner was finished, Charity put the kids to bed and sat on the swing seat with me in the small back yard, both with a glass of red wine in our hands. We were sat in silence until,


“It’s been a while since you’ve seen her.” She didn’t have to mention a name because I knew who she was talking about immediately.


“Last time I tried Dad had me thrown out… he doesn’t want me near her. He made that clear.” I scoffed, not looking at her and taking a big gulp of wine.


“Screw what Dad says, I think you should visit her at some point.” She said sternly.


“Charity, I can’t,” I croaked, “I wouldn’t even be able to look at her.” A few tears pooled in my eyes.


“I think it would help you.”


“Just drop it… I don’t want to talk about it.” I chugged down the rest of my wine and walked into the kitchen, washing the glass out.


“What time is James picking you up?” she asked. I had told her all about the holiday whilst we were eating and she whole-heartedly agreed with the idea, saying it would be good for me to relax for a while.


“In 15 minutes, I think.” I looked up at the wall clock in the kitchen and sure enough, when the hand reached the ‘12’ I heard a popping sound outside followed by a knock on the door.


“Hey James.” I opened the door, grabbing my bag that had my stuff in from Gabby’s room.


“You ready?” his hands were shoved in his pockets again but I couldn’t look at him because of Lily.


“Yeah, one sec…” I walked into the living room and embracing Darrell and Charity, “I’ll see you guys in a month. By the way, Gabby can have her room back.” I smiled once they said goodbye and apparated with James.


“Okay, what have I done?” James asked, “Because you can’t even look at me.” I could tell he had a smirk on his face.


“Nothing… it doesn’t matter.” I blushed red, hoping he hadn’t looked in my suitcase whilst I’d be gone.


“You’re blushing like mad,” he laughed, “Am I going to have to ask Lily?” my face snapped to his violently and my eyes widened.


“So it’s something to do with Lily, hmm… interesting.” His smirk grew wider.


“Shut up.” I elbowed him in the ribs and smiled happily when I heard an ‘oof!’ we walked back inside and headed into the living room where Albus, Lily and Harry were sat.


“Mum’s just gone to get some last minute things.” James explained, rolling his eyes and sitting on an armchair, patting his lap with a smirk. He knows, I bet he knows. I sat down awkwardly as James’ arms snaked around my waist and pulled my back to his chest, nuzzling his face into the side of my neck.


“Hey Lily, Albus, Mr Potter.” I smiled at all of them and they reciprocated as both Harry and Albus said at the same time,


“Call me Harry.”


“Call me Al.” and I ended up laughing as they high-fived each other at the in-sync-ness.


“What did I tell you? My family’s weird.” He whispered. He no idea about my family then. I sat quietly, just listening to the banter between all the Potter’s when Ginny came bustling through the door.


“Harry! What did I tell you? You were supposed to get everyone to bed before I got back because we’re up early tomorrow otherwise we’ll miss the Portkey!” she nearly yelled at Harry, whose face blushed. He immediately stood up and ushered us all to our respective bedrooms, unfortunately this meant that I was sharing a room with James Potter. And possibly a bed. Great.


“I’ll get changed in the bathroom,” I quickly rambled before getting my comfy pyjamas out my bag and rushing into the en-suite bathroom before he could object. I splashed my face with cold water before I walked back in because I needed to calm down.
“Pull yourself together! You’ll have to do this for a month, just act like you couldn’t care less.” I hissed at my reflection in the mirror before smoothing a bored expression over my face and exiting. However, the cool exterior was quickly slapped off my face as I saw James just stood there without a shirt on.


“Like what you see?” he teased as my eyes snapped back to his face from his abs. Jeez, his abs.


“Shut up,” I blushed, dumping my bag on the floor, “Let’s just get this over with.” I huffed, climbing under the covers as James climbed in the other side.


“Not usually the reaction I get from a woman getting into my bed.” He scoffed.


“Get used to it.” I replied as I turned off the lamps.


“You know, given that we’re newly engaged and all, I would have expected you to wear something a little more revealing to bed. Not comic-strip pants and an over-sized shirt.” He whispered in the dark.


“Given that we are pretending and I don’t need to keep up pretences whilst we’re alone, I’ll wear what I like to bed and you better keep your mouth shut about it or I will knee you in the groin.” I replied through clenched teeth.

 
“Ooh, kinky.” I could almost hear his smirk that was so obviously plastered on his face so I rolled over and expertly aimed right for his baby-makers, satisfied when my knees came into contact with the target.


“Message received.” He wheezed moodily and rolled away from me so I was facing his back.

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